Microsoft Puts Further Pressure on Sony Regarding Call of Duty

Microsoft Puts Further Pressure on Sony Regarding Call of Duty
Photo Credit: Activision

Microsoft’s attempted acquisition of Activision Blizzard has run into some possible issues. One vocal opponent for the deal is Sony, who would see one of their major console rivals potentially gain exclusive releases for key gaming franchises. 

One such franchise is Call of Duty, one of the biggest names in video games today. 

Earlier this year, Microsoft offered Sony a three-year deal to ensure Call of Duty remains on PlayStation platforms. Jim Ryan, the CEO of PlayStation, called the deal “inadequate on so many levels.” Ryan states that the offer doesn’t consider the impact it will have on PlayStation gamers. 

One such impact could be the inclusion of Call of Duty on Xbox Game Pass. Phil Spencer, the Head of Xbox, confirmed earlier this year that Microsoft “intends to make Activision Blizzard’s much-loved library of games – including Overwatch, Diablo and Call of Duty – available in Game Pass and to grow those gaming communities. By delivering even more value to players, we hope to continue growing Game Pass, extending its appeal to mobile phones and any connected device.”

How Do Others Feel About Microsoft Acquiring Activision Blizzard

Sony is the only publisher on the record concerned about Microsoft’s attempted acquisition of Activision Blizzard. They told the Brazilian government that no developer could develop a franchise rivaling Call of Duty.

Coincidentally, other publishers, such as Ubisoft and Bandai Namco, didn’t share the same feelings. Riot Games even called out Naughty Dog, a studio owned by Sony, as a competitor that can match anything Microsoft would be able to accomplish in the gaming landscape. 

Outside of the gaming industry, The Competition and Markets Authority of the United Kingdom has expressed concern about Microsoft’s acquisition. They’ve stated that the potential control of franchises like Call of Duty could harm “consumers by impairing Sony’s – Microsoft’s closest gaming rival – ability to compete.”

To alleviate these concerns, the New York Times reports that Microsoft has offered Sony a ten-year agreement to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation platforms. 

Phil Spencer has repeatedly stated that he has no desire to prevent Call of Duty from releasing on a PlayStation console. During a recent appearance on the Same Brain podcast, Spencer confirmed that “as long as there’s a PlayStation, we’ll ship Call of Duty there.”

When speaking on Decoder, a show hosted by Nilay Patel of The Verge, Spencer double downed. 

Neither Ryan nor Sony have commented on Spencer’s recent comments or the new agreement offer. 

“It’s not about at some point I pull the rug underneath PlayStation 7’s legs, and it’s ‘ahaha you just didn’t write the contract long enough,'” said Spencer. “There’s no contract that could be written that says forever.”

Ten years isn’t forever, but it sure is a long time. 

Why Would Microsoft Want To Acquire Activision Blizzard?

Two key reasons Phil Spencer brings up for Microsoft’s desire to acquire Activision Blizzard are China and mobile gaming.

Being able to work through the backlog of Activision games is something that Spencer may be excited about, but that’s not why you spend $69 billion. He admits that Microsoft doesn’t have much of a reach in the mobile gaming market, which Activision Blizzard does through the King brand. 

Furthermore, being able to tap into the Chinese market is something Microsoft hasn’t done. Blizzard recently saw their partnership for support in mainland China with NetEase end. This could open the door for Microsoft to step in and resume support for Blizzard games. 

The most recent Call of Duty, Modern Warfare II, was released on October 27th for PlayStation, Xbox, and PC platforms. We reviewed both the single-player and multiplayer game modes. Warzone 2.0, the popular Battle Royale mode for Call of Duty, was also recently launched. 


Written by Jake Valentine

I am the Editor-In-Chief of BossLevelGamer. I'm also a lover of video games, food, and beer.

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